Enhanced antitumor effects of DC-activated CIKs to chemotherapy treatment in a single cohort of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2013 Jan;62(1):65-73. doi: 10.1007/s00262-012-1311-8. Epub 2012 Jun 29.


Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells show cytolytic activity against tumor. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antitumor effect of dendritic cell (DC)-activated CIK cells in vitro and their clinical efficacy of DC-activated CIK cells in combination with chemotherapy (abbreviated below as chemotherapy plus DC + CIK) in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A paired study was performed between 61 patients treated with chemotherapy alone (group 1) and 61 patients treated with chemotherapy plus DC + CIK cells (group 2). In group 2, 36 patients with adenocarcinoma and 18 patients with squamous cell carcinoma were analyzed for the survival rate. Compared to unstimulated CIK cells, DC-activated CIK cells significantly enhanced antitumor activity, increased the ratio of CD3(+)CD56(+) cells, promoted cell proliferation and lessened cell apoptosis. In the paired study, the 1- and 2-year overall survival rates in group 2 were 57.2 and 27.0 %, which were significantly higher than that of group 1 (37.3 and 10.1 %) (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the survival rate between the adenocarcinoma and squamous carcinoma patients in group 2. The present study suggests that DC-activated CIK cell has enhanced antitumor effects and chemotherapy plus DC + CIK cells improved the clinical outcomes of chemotherapy for advanced NSCLC patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells / immunology*
  • Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells / transplantation*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Antineoplastic Agents